A new study challenges the widespread belief that adding insulation to your home can save you money on your utility bills by keeping out the cold and the heat.
Experts in energy conservation policy from the University of Cambridge analyzed loft and wall insulation installations in England and Wales to calculate the amount of energy saved and the duration of time the insulation had been in place. Experts have concluded that the benefits of insulation are minimal and temporary.
A small reduction in gas consumption was first seen in all insulated homes. However, the "rebound effect," the researchers' name for the shift in behavior in insulated homes that nullified any early savings, rendered the insulation ineffective after the fourth year. Researchers used this phrase to describe what happened to the cost savings from using less energy after year four.
In particular, homes with extensions and/or conservatories performed poorly, with the latter losing all of their energy-saving advantages after just one year.
The ongoing energy crisis in Europe is the driving force for the testing of this project, as it has politicians scurrying to find solutions to the region's most pressing concerns. One of these was to insulate homes better so that residents might use less energy to keep their homes warm.
It is hoped that power disruptions would be less common next winter if homeowners are able to insulate their homes better. However, newer research paints a quite different image.
Efforts are currently underway in the United Kingdom to retrofit as many buildings as feasible with insulation in an effort to reduce energy consumption by 15% over the next 8 years.
The Labor Party in the United Kingdom thinks that boosting house insulation should be a "national aim" since it could save homeowners in the country about $1.32 billion over the next three years.
Meanwhile, opposition parties argue that increasing the number of homes that have been retrofitted to reduce energy usage will not solve the problem of fuel poverty since people would just use more energy than they would otherwise.
Even in well-insulated homes, the need for fresh air may prompt the opening of many windows. You'll end up using more energy than you save since maintaining the same temperature will put more strain on your heat pumps and radiators.
None of this would even be a consideration if western governments hadn't sanctioned Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. If Europe had kept receiving cheap gas in massive amounts from the Middle East, everything would be OK now.
Instead, the EU and UK have placed significant restrictions on their ability to obtain energy, and their corrupt leadership is now scrambling to come up with even more flimsy explanations for why they keep failing.
An article by Paul Homewood on Watts Up With That states, "...as energy efficiency grows, along with the cost of items we buy, we have more money to spend on other things." "I imagine that most people would use better insulation not to save money on electricity, but rather to enjoy warmer homes,"
"Additionally, they are more inclined to purchase energy-hungry additions like conservatories. Yes, of course, people will throw open their windows and let the breeze enter. We are the type of people that leave their bedroom windows open year-round, even in the dead of winter. (The Guardian would be shocked, that much is certain!) "
One respondent said that the concept of a rebound effect on energy efficiency is already well-understood and therefore should not have needed new research to support it. The debate that followed the article made reference to this.
According to the writer, utilities "of course" disregard it since "they earn enormous amounts from their ridiculous efficiency plans."
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